Saturday, July 23, 2016

Episode 262: R-A-M-O-N-E-S !!

Episode 262: R-A-M-O-N-E-S !!
Hey Ho Let's Go as Pat and Guest Co-Host John Ross Bowie (The Big Bang Theory, Speechless, The Heat) discuss the greatest punk rock band in history... RAMONES!
From July 21, 2016

With your host:

Pat Francis

00:00:00 Pat and Kyle welcome us to the show. Today's special guest co-host is actor extraordinaire John Ross Bowie!

You've seen John on The Big Bang Theory, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Burn Notice, Weeds, Happy Endings, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and a host of others. He is starring in a new show coming out in September on ABC called Speechless. It's about a family that moves to Orange County for the betterment of their son with cerebral palsy.
00:05:00 John stars in it with Minnie Driver, who is a bit taller than John. To compensate, they "increased my font size" in some photos, as John puts it. But despite her height advantage, she is a very nice lady. Today John is here to do an episode all about the Ramones. Pat's been wanting to do an all-Ramones episode for a while. He didn't get into the Ramones until college when he became transfixed by the album cover for End of the Century. John loves that album cover because it's the four Ramones wearing bright primary color shirts with just the meanest looks on their faces.
00:10:00 While Pat never saw the Ramones live, John did. He describes it as a "sonic assault." 28 songs crammed into a one hour show. Pat and John marvel about how all four original Ramones are dead, yet only one Rolling Stone is dead. And he died in an accident in the late 60s. John also wrote a play about the Ramones.
00:15:00 The play is called "Four Chords and a Gun" and it's about the recording of End of the Century. John chose that time period because it's a major turning point for the band: it was their biggest selling album, it almost tore them apart, and yet they stayed around for nine more albums. The play is not a musical, but there are a few Ramones songs in there and some Phil Spector songs too. All in all it's a good time.
00:20:00 We kick things off with the first album, 1976's Ramones. John notes how the bass is in one channel and the guitar is the other. He plays his first pick, "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue". 14 songs, 29 minutes. John loves the "now" in the act of sniffing glue. The sense of time management and urgency.
Pat's pick for the first album is one of their most well-known songs, "Blitzkrieg Bop".
00:25:00 John's second pick from the debut opens side two, it's called "Loudmouth". John and Pat laugh about how back in the day, this was considered crazy rock and roll. Now it seems so tame in comparison.
The next pick for Pat is called "53rd & 3rd". Some people criticize the Ramones for sounding the same in each song, but Pat and John disagree. The first four albums are cut from similar cloth, but once you get out of the 70s and into the 80s, things take a turn.
00:30:00 The band's second album is 1977's Leave Home. John plays the song "I Remember You". Pat had picked the same song. The production sounds much clearer and the instruments blend together real well. John plays his other pick, "Oh Oh I Love Her So". Again, 14 songs in under 30 minutes.
Album number three, 1977's Rocket to Russia, released during the peak of punk rock. John plays the song "We're a Happy Family". John remembers going to a Ramones show and the band would close with the song. Joey would point to each member of the audience and say "We're a happy family." In some small way, John felt like he too was a Ramone.
00:35:00 Pat's pick from Rocket to Russia is "Rockaway Beach". "2 minutes and 6 seconds of Heaven," says Pat. "That was also my honeymoon." Hey now! John went to Rockaway Beach once, and when he found out you need a car to get groceries, he promptly went back to Midtown.
John's second pick from the album is one that managed to crack #81 on the Billboard charts, it's "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker".
00:40:00 Ramones albums were on a major label, they had an artistic director, they were promoted and had a competent production team. And yet they never managed to have huge commercial success. Perhaps they looked too dangerous, with their leather jackets and their New York attitudes. Pat's second pick is called "Locket Love". By this point, the band has 42 songs on 3 albums! Incredible
00:45:00 1978's Road to Ruin is the first to feature Marky Ramone on the drums. Still alive, god love him. And this album features a real schism in the early Ramones catalogue. John plays the jangly power pop "Don't Come Close". A cute little pop song that Pat also picked.
Pat also picked the big song, maybe their most well-known, "I Wanna Be Sedated". John calls it a sonically perfect song and credits engineer Ed Stasium for the guitar sound. Pat's third pick is one that John also picked, "I Just Want to Have Something to Do". In the span of two years, the band has released four albums.
00:50:00 We move on to the previously-mentioned End of the Century from 1980. Phil Spector is in the producer's chair. And there were some tensions between him and the band.... as in, the rumor being Phil holding the band hostage with a pistol. Oh Phil, you silly goose. The album sounds nothing like the previous albums. John picks a song called "Danny Says". The song is this love song that slowly builds layer upon layer. End of the Century is Phil's last album. Dee Dee claims he did not play bass on the album and it's widely accepted as true. In fact, the story goes that session guys were brought in to finish the album.
00:55:00 John's second pick from End of the Century is the polar opposite of Danny Says called "Let's Go".
Pat's first pick from the album is the opening track, "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?". What does Kyle think of this so far? He enjoys it. He's heard most of these songs because he went through a Ramones phase, maaaaaaaan. Pat wonders about the royalty deals for these songs. With the exception of C. J., there are no Ramones kids. A lot of the money goes to cancer charities because Johnny, Joey, and Tommy all died of cancer. Pat's second pick from the album is "Chinese Rock".
01:00:00 The third song that Pat picks is called "The Return of Jackie and Judy". Marky is Pat's favorite Ramones drummer. Surprisingly there are no era-specific Ramones shirts. There are only the original four.
01:05:00 After End of the Century, the band release Pat's favorite Ramones album, 1981's Pleasant Dreams. Pat plays "We Want the Airwaves".
John's first pick off the album is a song called "This Business Is Killing Me". This album has no Johnny-penned songs.
Pat's second choice is called "She's a Sensation".
John's second pick is the infamous one, "The KKK Took My Baby Away". The rumor is that Johnny stole Joey's girlfriend, so Joey wrote this song about it. The other rumor is that the song is about a woman Joey met in an insane asylum.
01:10:00 Subterranean Jungle was released in 1983 and it is the last to feature Marky for a while. His drinking had been getting out of hand. John's first pick is a bonus track called "Indian Giver". The album has three cover songs and only one Johnny song.
Pat's first pick is one that John also picked, "Outsider".
01:15:00 Dee Dee sings the bridge and he sounds good on it, as opposed to the later stuff where he sounds haggard. John brings up a Dee Dee Ramone rap record. Good god. Kyle plays some of it for our listening displeasure. It's... it's not good. Pat washes that out of our brains with another pick from Subterranean Jungle called "In the Park".
01:20:00 Up next is 1984's Too Tough to Die. Pat and John really love the album cover, and John really likes the songs on it. The album is also the first with Richie Ramone on drums. John's first pick is produced by Dave Stewart and is quite the outlier. It's "Howling at the Moon (Sha-La-La)". Certainly quite the departure from other Ramones stuff.
Pat's pick from the album is called "Daytime Dilemma (Dangers of Love)". Wow! Now that is an anthem.
John then nosedives the plane to hardcore Dee Dee Land with his next pick, "Wart Hog".
01:25:00 Moving on now to 1986's Animal Boy. In contrast to Too Tough to Die, Pat and John do not like the album cover. John plays his first pick, the album opener "Somebody Put Something in My Drink". Written by Richie Ramone. Joey has a definitive growl in his voice. Animal Boy has yet to be remastered.
Pat's first pick from Animal Boy is the political "My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)".
01:30:00 The song was written about Ronald Reagan going to Bitburg, West Germany and laying a wreath at a military cemetery, where many Nazi soldiers were buried. A lot of people took offense to this, including Joey Ramone who is half-Jewish on his father's side, so Joey wrote a song about it. John's second pick is the last song on the album called "Something to Believe In". Pat likes half the album, but the half the album he likes he loves.
01:35:00 The last Richie Ramone album is 1987's Halfway to Sanity. A very guitar-heavy record, as opposed to the synths-heavy stuff of previous years. John plays the opening track, "I Wanna Live".
Pat picks the song "A Real Cool Time".
The other song John picks features Debbie Harry on background vocals. The song is called "Go Lil' Camaro Go". A fun little punk pop song.
01:40:00 Richie got fed up with being in the Ramones and left. Clem Burke from Blondie joined the band for a few gigs as Elvis Ramone, then Marky got back into the band, sober and ready to go. This takes us to 1989's Brain Drain. Pat loves this album, John only likes a couple songs. It was very metal. Pat plays a song that he and John love called "Pet Sematary". According to the story, Dee Dee wrote the song in an hour in Stephen King's basement. Rammstein also does a cover of it.
01:45:00 Pat then plays the opening track, "I Believe in Miracles". We hear a little of Rammstein's cover of "Pet Sematary" and the boys are not a fan.
John plays his pick "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight".
Pat's next is one that we can all relate to. It's called "Don't Bust My Chops". Very beefy, very 80s metal.
01:50:00 Pat's final pick from Brain Drain is "Can't Get You Out of My Mind".
Three years later, the band releases 1992's Mondo Bizarro. Dee Dee is out of the band, yet is still writing for them. C. J. is now on bass. John calls it a hit-or-miss record. He plays the song "Poison Heart".
Pat's pick from the album is called "I Won't Let It Happen".
John follows this up with another song that we can all relate to. It's "The Job That Ate My Brain".
01:55:00 The last song Pat picks from the album is called "Heidi Is a Headcase".
1994's Acid Eaters is a covers album. It's okay, but the guys would much prefer an original album. John's first pick is CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?". The other one he picks is Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love".
Pat's first cover pick is The Who's "Substitute", which has Pete Townshend on background vocals.
02:00:00 The other cover that Pat picks is The Rolling Stones' "Out of Time", with SEBASTIAN BACH (!!) on background vocals. Pat remembers seeing Johnny Ramone at a video store in the Valley. John saw him walking out of a Reverend Horton Heat show. Johnny wasn't the friendliest guy ("an aura made of steel," as John describes), but Joey was always willing to talk to fans.
The last Ramones album is 1995's ¡Adiós Amigos!. Pat questions the back cover and thinks Dee Dee is sitting down in the sombrero. But it's actually their tour manager Monte Melnick, who was with them for their entire career.
02:05:00 John's first pick is called "Life's a Gas". Joey's voice is starting to deepen with this album, but John digs it a lot.
Pat's first pick from the album is a Tom Waits cover called "I Don't Want to Grow Up".
The other song that John picks is called "She Talks to Rainbows".
02:10:00 We have reached the end of this madcap musical train of leather jackets and unrelated band members. You can find John on Twitter @JohnRossBowie. There is a link there where you can buy tickets to his Ramones play "Four Chords and a Gun." And remember to watch his show Speechless on ABC this Fall.
This was an absolute blast of a show. Thanks to John for being here. We managed to squeeze in a bajillion Ramones songs in two hours, which is the way they would have wanted it. Pat takes us out with a loving tribute to the Ramones written by Lemmy from Motorhead. Here is the band doing their version of it, sung by C. J. It's "R.A.M.O.N.E.S.".
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:20:00 Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue Ramones Ramones John
00:20:00 Blitzkrieg Bop Ramones Ramones Pat
00:25:00 Loudmouth Ramones Ramones John
00:25:00 53rd & 3rd Ramones Ramones Pat
00:30:00 I Remember You Leave Home Ramones John
00:30:00 Oh Oh I Love Her So Leave Home Ramones John
00:30:00 We’re a Happy Family Rocket to Russia Ramones John
00:35:00 Rockaway Beach Rocket to Russia Ramones Pat
00:35:00 Sheena Is a Punk Rocker Rocket to Russia Ramones John
00:40:00 Locket Love Rocket to Russia Ramones Pat
00:45:00 Don’t Come Close Road to Ruin Ramones John
00:45:00 I Wanna Be Sedated Road to Ruin Ramones Pat
00:45:00 I Just Wanna Have Something to Do Road to Ruin Ramones Pat
00:50:00 Danny Says End of the Century Ramones John
00:55:00 Let’s Go End of the Century Ramones John
00:55:00 Do You Remember Rock ’n’ Roll Radio? End of the Century Ramones Pat
00:55:00 Chinese Rock End of the Century Ramones Pat
01:00:00 The Return of Jackie and Judy End of the Century Ramones Pat
01:05:00 We Want the Airwaves Pleasant Dreams Ramones Pat
01:05:00 This Business Is Killing Me Pleasant Dreams Ramones John
01:05:00 She’s a Sensation Pleasant Dreams Ramones Pat
01:05:00 The KKK Took My Baby Away Pleasant Dreams Ramones John
01:10:00 Indian Giver Subterranean Jungle Ramones John
01:10:00 Outsider Subterranean Jungle Ramones Pat
01:15:00 In the Park Subterranean Jungle Ramones Pat
01:20:00 Howling at the Moon (Sha-La-La) Too Tough to Die Ramones John
01:20:00 Daytime Dilemma (Dangers of Love) Too Tough to Die Ramones Pat
01:20:00 Wart Hog Too Tough to Die Ramones John
01:25:00 Somebody Put Something in My Drink Animal Boy Ramones John
01:25:00 My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg) Animal Boy Ramones Pat
01:30:00 Something to Believe In Animal Boy Ramones John
01:35:00 I Wanna Live Halfway to Sanity Ramones John
01:35:00 A Real Cool Time Halfway to Sanity Ramones Pat
01:35:00 Go Lil’ Camaro Go Halfway to Sanity Ramones John
01:40:00 Pet Sematary Brain Drain Ramones Pat
01:45:00 I Believe in Miracles McCartney Ramones Pat
01:45:00 Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight) Brain Drain Ramones John
01:45:00 Don’t Bust My Chops Brain Drain Ramones Pat
01:50:00 Can’t Get You Outta My Mind Brain Drain Ramones Pat
01:50:00 Poison Heart Mondo Bizarro Ramones John
01:50:00 I Won’t Let It Happen Mondo Bizarro Ramones Pat
01:50:00 The Job That Ate My Brain Mondo Bizarro Ramones John
01:55:00 Heidi Is a Headcase Mondo Bizarro Ramones Pat
01:55:00 Have You Ever Seen a Rain? Acid Eaters Ramones John
01:55:00 Somebody To Love Acid Eaters Ramones John
01:55:00 Subsitute Acid Eaters Ramones Pat
02:00:00 Out of Time Acid Eaters Ramones Pat
02:05:00 Life’s a Gas ¡Adiós Amigos! Ramones John
02:05:00 I Don’t to Grow Up ¡Adiós Amigos! Ramones Pat
02:05:00 She Talks to Rainbows ¡Adiós Amigos! Ramones John
02:10:00 RAMONES ¡Adiós Amigos! Ramones Pat

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